Review: The Other Life – Susanne Winnacker

Cover of The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker

Title: The Other Life
Author: Susanne Winnacker
Publication date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-4095-3608-6
Length: 314 pages
Genre: Dystopian fiction
Age group: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon US | Amazon UK | The Book Depository

3 years, 1 month, 1 week and 6 days since I’d seen daylight. One-fifth of my life. 98,409,602 seconds since the heavy, steel door had fallen shut and sealed us off from the world.

Sherry has lived with her family in a sealed bunker since things went wrong up above. But when they run out of food, Sherry and her dad must venture outside. There they find a world of devastation, desolation…and the Weepers: savage, mutant killers. When Sherry’s dad is snatched, she joins forces with gorgeous but troubled Joshua – an Avenger, determined to destroy the Weepers. But can Sherry keep her family and Joshua safe, when his desire for vengeance threatens them all?

Susanne Winnacker’s The Other Life is the perfect example of a fast paced, action packed and cleverly written dystopian novel – something you pick up and find yourself breezing through the story in one day. I still consider myself quite new to the dystopian genre but Winnacker presents us such a devastating picture of a future Los Angeles, something so different from the world we’re living in now, that you simply cannot help but listen to every word she says.

The plot is just fantastic: there’s no introduction in the sense that we don’t have a clue about what happened Sherry and her family. They’ve already been living in this bunker for 3 years by the time the story starts. We learn little bits of information about them and how their life has been down there in the past few years, but we still don’t know why they’re there or what happens if they run out of food and have to go out of their hiding place. Winnacker gradually builds up the tension in her book and keeps you on the edge of your seat all the way until the end. There are short periods when she lets you relax, take a deep breath and hope that everything will be all right, everyone will make it to the end but you soon realize that just like the characters, you can’t let your guards down. When you think you’ve seen it all, Winnacker still manages to surprise you with another twist and make the suspense even more agonising than before.

On top of a gripping storyline, The Other Life has characters you probably won’t forget anytime soon. Sherry and Joshua are a perfect duo and I couldn’t tell you which one of them is more likeable or relatable – I just loved them both. I loved the fact that even though Sherry is only fifteen, she acts like an adult. She takes care of her little sister and she’s tough, just like Joshua. I really liked how mysterious and tough, but at the same time vulnerable he is.

Gut-wrenching, utterly riveting and still a little bit optimistic, The Other Life is definitely one of those books you need to pick up as soon as you can. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s brilliant – believe me, you’ll find it hard to put it down. Without a doubt, it’s been one of my favourite books this year. The ending opened up many possibilities for the next book and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Can 2013 hurry up, please?


* Thank you to Usborne Publishing for sending me a review copy of this book *

28 Responses to “Review: The Other Life – Susanne Winnacker”

  1. Meg K. says:

    I’m actually about halfway through this book, and it’s pretty good so far. :) And who doesn’t love tough and brave characters? I’m glad you found Sherry likeable.

    I can’t wait to finish this book! Thanks for the review! :)
    Meg K. recently posted..Blog Tour: Whisper of Memory (Author Interview)My Profile

  2. Yay, great review Vicky! I have to say you enjoyed this a little more than me. I loved the whole setting but I’m bored of Zombies. They don’t really do much for me but again, so glad you liked it! Donna xoox
    Donna’s Reviews recently posted..Dusty Reads (#14)My Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Thanks Donna! :) I don’t usually read books with zombies or vampires so thank goodness I’m not bored of them yet, hehe. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed it a bit more, I don’t know. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, that’s for sure. xxx

  3. Dalene says:

    I love the cover. I’m not sure if I love dystopian, but will definitely give this book a try. Great review :) The idea that there isn’t much in way of set up sounds very appearling. I love a book that just gets up and goes.
    Dalene recently posted..Teaser Tuesday (Apr 17)My Profile

    • Vicky says:

      Thanks Dalene :D I didn’t read much dystopian books either so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it or not – well, it worked for me. It was such a fast paced story, I just loved it.

  4. This looks like a great one, hun! Definitely another book for the wishlist! I doubt it’ll stay on there long though ;P

    Excellent review, as always!

    Dani xxx
    Dani (Pen to Paper) recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday #18My Profile

  5. fakesteph says:

    This one sounds good. I keep saying I’m bored with dystopian, but then another one comes along that I just have to read.
    fakesteph recently posted..White Collar Season TwoMy Profile

  6. Janiera says:

    I got this book for review as well. Not sure why I haven’t got to it yet but now I’m reading it next. loved your review, I’ve been hearing great things about this.
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  7. Sezzy says:

    I’ve got this on my tbr pile and after the review I might just have to bump it up now! ;) Great review Vicky!!! :D

  8. Melissa says:

    This sounds like an intense read. I don’t think I’ll ever bore of dystopians…but then I read such a variety of things that I am always changing it up. Great review!

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf
    Melissa recently posted..Teaser Tuesdays: The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess RothenbergMy Profile

  9. oh really?? I have this book on my to-read list, but it isn’t a book I would run out on release day to go buy, but your review definitely makes me think otherwise. I like dystopian, so am excited about this one now!
    ashelynn hetland recently Glimmer by Phoebe KitanidisMy Profile

  10. Megan says:

    This book sounds great. I really enjoy dystopians; definitely not sick them yet! I’m adding it to my TBR list straight away!
    Megan recently posted..Teaser Tuesday: Tomorrow Land EditionMy Profile

  11. Sophie says:

    Ugh, sadly those are the kind of books that I avoid! I don’t like dystopia that much. It stresses me. I know, I’m weird! Anyways. Sometimes I pass a book because it’s too dystopian-ish, but then I always regret it because some of them seem to have such awesome characters!

    However, I’ll keep it in mind. Who knows? Maybe in the next future I’ll become a dystopia addict LOL
    Sophie recently posted..Monday morning newsMy Profile

  12. Great review! I liked this book a lot as well. I had some issues with it, but otherwise thought it was good. You can read my review here:
    Lisa Loves Literature recently posted..Fear (Gone series #5) by Michael GrantMy Profile

  13. I am so pumped that this is getting good reviews! I have been looking forward to this novel for a while now! Thanks for sharing! =)
    Jennifer @ A Librarian’s Library recently posted..I bit the bullet, kids…My Profile

  14. Yay another book I can add to my dystopian wishlist. I actually don’t have enough books on my list to finish my dystopian challenge. I’ll keep looking for more helpful reviews. Thanks!
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  15. Em says:

    Five out of five, doesn’t surprise me. Reviewer have been rating this book a good read. I’m looking forward to reading it. :-)
    Em recently posted..Tag I’m It!!My Profile

  16. Fast paced and cleverly written, that sounds like a very good book to me! :D I’m planning on reading this one soon. Thanks for the review!
    Melanie @thedailyprohecy recently posted..Review 14. Suzanne Collins – Catching fire.My Profile

  17. That covers some deep issues. Here is mine WOW
    Jo @ Mixed Book Bag recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday (WOW) April 11, 2012My Profile

  18. Heidi says:

    Imhave been wanting to read this for months now. The Grandpa in the freezer is niggling my mind. Now you have convinced me with your brilliant review to get after it sooner than later. Thanks for sharing!
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  19. Jacqline says:

    I’m planning on reading it because you review convinced me.
    I find it a very interesting book! Can’t wait to read it :D

  20. Samantha S says:

    I really like the idea for the book and I’m really glad that you enjoyed it. I’m really looking forward to reading about Sherry and Joshua, especially Joshua, sounds like you’ve taken a shine to him.

    Great review, you’ve just made me very eager to get my hands on this.
    Samantha S recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday (5)My Profile

  21. […] opinions: Never Too Fond of Books Tiffany Reads Books, Biscuits and Tea SharePrintEmailDigg Filed Under: 4 owls, fast pace, horror, quick read, scary, young adult, […]

  22. […] blogging but after reading some really outstanding novels, such as Susanne Winnacker’s The Other Life or Divergent, it quickly became one of my favourite genres. Roth’s story is so unique, but at […]

  23. Kelsey Deluise says:

    This was one of the coolest stories I have read in a while, and it’s something I don’t normally read about either.
    Could you imagine having to go underground while the earth above you changes for the worse? Could you imagine having to stay there for years?? Me either, but this story helps put that imagination on course.
    I just couldn’t put it down either, and at bedtime it was a problem. Do I scare the crap out of myself and keep reading or take a break and pick up again tomorrow…. I’m glad I held on or I wouldn’t have slept a lick!
    Paranormal, zombie and dystopian fans will enjoy this book.

  24. Sarah E. says:

    I loved this book! I cannot wait for the next one. I love how it ended :)

  25. I love reading dystopian and zombie books. The Other Life is already on my TBR list. It sounds like a fabulous read. Thanks for sharing your review.
    Nancy @ The Avid Reader recently posted..Blog Tour: (Interview + Giveaway) Healer By J.L. BowenMy Profile

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